Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lidded Finger Jointed Box Assembled

     One of the things that sets these boxes apart is the brass pins in the fingers.  These are quite time consuming but I think, they're worth it.  The process begins with pre-drilling the fingers on a special jig I made for the drill press.  After the box is glued up and assembled those pre-drilled holes have brass screws put into them.  This can get tricky!  The screws need to be inserted far enough to completely conceal the threads but not so far that they break off.  Inevitably, if they break it'll be below the surface -- don't ask how I know that!  That requires carefully drilling out most of the screw and then putting in a new one.

Two Down -- Thirty-Eight to Go
Almost There


      Next is to clip off the heads from each of the screws with a pair of nippers, notice how it leaves quite a pointed end sticking up.  This can't be sanded so a file is used to work each screw until it's almost flush with the surface.  If you try to sand the pointed piece you'll not only tear the paper it will also ruin your sanding pad!

Yes, That is a Power Tool!

     Those of you that follow my work know that I pride myself on the hand tool usage but also that I'll refer to myself as a Hybrid Woodworker.  In other words, although hand tools are preferred there are times a power tool does the work much quicker and more efficiently.  Hard enough to make a decent hourly wage on these as it is!  I'm using a Bosch, 6" random orbit sander which is a fantastic machine.  I initially purchased it in the late 1980's to wax a fiberglass boat we had at the time.  It's probably the best r/o tool out there.  A hand tool choice would have been a plane to flush the ends of the finger joints but the addition of the brass changes that.  I begin with 100 grit on the r/o, then 150 grit on a finish sander but do hand sanding with 220 and a cork block prior to applying the finish.   That's work for tomorrow as it approached 93 degrees and I was starting to sweat on the wood!
     I was able to set the power tools aside to cut the chamfer on top of one of the lids.  This is for the box that "flipped its lid" and had to be modified.

Chamfer on End
     This is an example of that quiet hand work.  Simply draw a line for the width of it, hold the block plane at what seems like a proper angle, and plane until you hit the line.  Always do the end grain first as it'll have a tendency to split.  After both ends are done you can do the edges.  The angle I chose was just one that looked right to me. Instead of using a protector to lay it out I locked my hand to the angle I felt was "just right" and chamfered each edge.

Meet at the Corner
         Once the lines meet at the corner that's your clue  telling you that you're done!  The object is to have a single chamfer all the way around the edge of the lid.  A router bit would probably do it quicker but, in my opinion, it would need to be planed smooth to eliminate the chatter marks so why bother setting up the router and creating all of the noise and dust?

1 comment:

  1. might try using a steel screw with the same thread as the brass screw to cut the thread in the wood then back it out and insert the brass one.